Skin and Beauty

General Measures Against Fungal Infection and Use of Antifungal Agents

Written by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on May 31, 2016 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  2 min read



This article discusses about the commonly used antifungal agents and general measures to prevent dermatophytosis (ringworm or tinea), which is very common during summer.

General Measures Against Fungal Infection and Use of Antifungal Agents

Antifungal agents are usually applied for two to three weeks twice daily. Over application can irritate sensitive and damaged skin. The following are the different antifungal agents that are used for various fungal infections.

  • Imidazoles, which include Miconazole 2%, Clotrimazole 1%, Ketoconazole, Oxiconazole, Econazole nitrate 1%, etc. These are effective against dermatophytes (a type of fungus causing tinea), Candida species as well as pityrosporum.
  • Also Tolbaftate 1% and Zinc undecylenate 10% are used against yeast infections.
  • Nystatin is useful for the treatment of oral and vaginal candidiasis along with Hamycin intravaginal tablets.
  • Ciclopirox olamine 1% cream is used to treat fungal infections such as jock itch.
  • Allylamines such as Terbinafine and Naftifine have limited effectiveness against tinea versicolor and candidiasis.
  • Application of benzylamines like Butenafine hydrochloride 1% once daily improves compliance, efficacy and patient satisfaction.
  • Whitfields ointment is a mixture of 3% Salicylic acid (a keratolytic agent) and 6% Benzoic acid (a moderate antifungal) in Vaseline base. But, this is not in vogue anymore.
  • Castellani's paint is prepared by mixing 10 mL of basic fuchsin, 4 mL of Boric acid, 2 g of Resorcin, 10 mL of acetone and water to make it 100 mL.
  • Sodium Thiosulfate 25% and Selenium sulfide 25% are also used for the treatment of tinea versicolor.

General Measures Against Fungal Infections:

  1. Avoid heat, moisture and maceration.
  2. Dry the body folds, finger and toe webs thoroughly after bathing.
  3. Footwear should not be tight. It should fit well and be non-occlusive.
  4. Hyperhidrosis of the feet should be controlled.
  5. Proper drying and application of antifungal foot powder after swimming will be helpful.
  6. Clothing, towels and personal effects should be kept separately.
  7. Children having tinea capitis should not be allowed to go to school till treatment is over.

Systemic Antifungal Therapy:

The systemic antifungal therapy treatment is required when there are extensive lesions and the rash is resistant to topical therapy. Also, if the involvement includes scalp and nail, then we will opt for systemic antifungal therapy.

For further facts regarding antifungal medication consult a dermatologist online -->

Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  2 min read


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